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Environmental News

KfW, IDC sign $80m loan facility for green economy development 

By: Simone Liedtke     31st January 2019 German development bank KfW and the Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa (IDC) on Thursday signed a “milestone agreement” for an $80-million loan facility. KfW executive board member Dr Stefan Peiß and newly appointed IDC CEO TP Nchocho were in attendance to sign the document on... 

Could alien tree clearing near dams be Cape Town's solution to saving water? 

By: News24Wire      31st January 2019 Cape Town is losing 50-billion litres of water every year to thirsty alien trees surrounding the region’s supply dams – equivalent to two months’ water supply effectively going down the drain. For those who doubt the hydrological models that have come up with this figure, there will soon be hard... 

Coalition welcomes Mpumalanga MEC’s decision to not exclude properties from the Mabola protected area

By: Simone Liedtke     29th January 2019 The members of a civil society coalition that has been challenging mining company Atha Africa’s proposed new coal mine inside a Mpumalanga strategic water source area, have welcomed the decision by Mpumalanga MEC Vusumuzi Shongwe to withdraw his notice of intention to exclude the area proposed... 

Rhodes University to lead £20m international collaborative ocean project

By: African News Agency      29th January 2019 Rhodes University is set to lead a £20-million international collaborative project to influence ocean health and integrated ocean governance for equitable and inclusive sustainability. The One Ocean Hub is one of twelve innovation hub programmes approved by the UK Research Innovation’s Global... 

Agricultural sector plan prioritises job creation, agroprocessing 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     29th January 2019 Agbiz CEO Dr John Purchase on Tuesday shared the agricultural sector’s five-year business plan at the Business Unity South Africa Business Economic Indaba, held in Midrand. The plan for this sector prioritised the recovery of jobs lost as a result of the drought in the country and to continue... 

Agricultural sector plan prioritises job creation, agroprocessing
Agbiz CEO Dr John Purchase discusses the agricultural sector's five-year business plan. Video and editing: Nicholas Boyd.

SAIIA, Brookings launch Foresight Africa report   

By: Sane Dhlamini     28th January 2019 The South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) and the Brookings Institution’s Africa Growth Initiative (AGI) launched the Foresight Africa report on Monday, in Johannesburg, highlighting the top priorities for the continent in 2019.  AGI senior fellow and director Brahima Coulibaly... 

SAIIA, Brookings launch Foresight Africa report
AGI senior fellow and director Brahima Coulibaly & ISS senior research consultant Liesl Louw-Vaudran on the Foresight Africa report (Camera: Nicholas Boyd. Editing: Christo Greyling)

GEF, UN Environment partner with tech companies to launch e-waste economy in Nigeria

By: Marleny Arnoldi     24th January 2019 The Nigerian government, the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and UN Environment have partnered with Dell, HP, Microsoft and Phillips to launch a $15-million investment to create a formal electronic-waste (e-waste) recycling industry in Nigeria. A report published on Thursday by the World... 

GEF, UN Environment partner with tech companies to launch e-waste economy in Nigeria
Photo by Bloomberg
E-Waste

Unisa, Exxaro, Sanedi launch first institutional anaerobic digester  

24th January 2019 To promote renewable energy as a cost-effective technology amid climate change and global warming, the University of South Africa, Exxaro Resources and the South African National Energy Development Institution launched in November its first institutional anaerobic digester. Simone Liedtke reports. 

Unisa, Exxaro, Sanedi launch first institutional anaerobic digester
Unisa, Exxaro, Sanedi launch first institutional anaerobic digester

UCT researchers selected for research hubs to address global challenges

By: Sashnee Moodley     24th January 2019 Funding agency United Kingdom Research and Innovation (UKRI) and the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) have selected University of Cape Town (UCT) researchers to establish research hubs at UK universities, to tackle some of the development challenges facing the world. The hubs offer five... 

UCT researchers selected for research hubs to address global challenges

To meet climate goals, world urged to reuse natural resources

By: Reuters     22nd January 2019 More of the billions of tonnes of materials the world uses each year must be recycled and reused to keep climate change in check, researchers said on Tuesday. Only about a tenth of the nearly 93 billion tonnes of materials utilised annually - including minerals, metals, fossil fuels and biomass -... 

Mokonyane not aware of any allegations against her at state capture commission

By: News24Wire      21st January 2019 Environmental Affairs Minister Nomvula Mokonyane's office says it knows nothing about claims implicating her in testimony before the state capture commission of inquiry and says it will be "impolitic" to engage reports claiming otherwise. Weekend newspapers reported that Mokonyane would be among... 

How the cargo ship industry is cleaning up its filthy act

By: Bloomberg     18th January 2019 Air pollution from cars and factories has been regulated in much of the world since the 1970s. When it comes to the smoke-belching ships that carry global trade, the rules have been a lot looser. Big changes start next January, though, when long-debated standards from the International Maritime... 

Climate change threatens to make your morning brew more expensive

By: Bloomberg     17th January 2019 Coffee farmer Masumi Kondo wrapped himself in a cosy blanket on cool nights in the 1970s when he began growing the crop in the Franca region of Brazil’s Sao Paulo state. Now, thanks to persistently warmer weather, he needs an air conditioner. It’s not just the sleeping habits of farmers... 

Thirty companies form alliance to help curb plastic waste

By: Marleny Arnoldi     16th January 2019 Thirty companies have joined forces to establish the Alliance to End Plastic Waste (AEPW), which aims to advance solutions to reduce and eliminate plastic waste from the environment, especially the ocean. The alliance is a nonprofit organisation that involves companies from across the global... 

Thirty companies form alliance to help curb plastic waste

China starts new recycling drive as foreign trash ban widens

By: Reuters     15th January 2019 China plans to launch 100 new large-scale recycling "bases" by the end of next year, part of a campaign to make better use of its resources after extending a ban on foreign trash imports. A long manufacturing boom has saddled China with millions of tonnes of waste, much of which is buried in... 

UN warns of rising levels of toxic brine as more desalination plants are built

By: Simone Liedtke     14th January 2019 The fast-rising number of desalination plants globally, now almost 16 000, quench a growing thirst for fresh water but create a “salty dilemma” on how to deal with all the chemical-laden left-over brine, authors of a recently published United Nations- (UN-) backed paper say. In the paper, the... 

There’s a tiny plastic enemy threatening the planet’s oceans

By: Bloomberg     11th January 2019 Environmentalists have identified another threat to the planet. It’s called a nurdle. Nurdles are tiny pellets of plastic resin no bigger than a pencil eraser that manufacturers transform into packaging, plastic straws, water bottles and other typical targets of environmental action. 

Partnership for Action on the Green Economy conference starts this week in Cape Town

By: Marleny Arnoldi     8th January 2019 Environmental Affairs Minister Nomvula Mokonyane will host, on January 10 and 11, the Partnership for Action on the Green Economy (Page) Ministerial conference at the Cape Town International Convention Centre. She said in a statement issued on Tuesday that hosting the Page conference would... 

Partnership for Action on the Green Economy conference starts this week in Cape Town
Environmental Affairs Minister Nomvula Mokonyane

Greenhouse gas emissions cap poses serious threat, warns activist group

By: News24Wire      20th December 2018 World governments at the UN climate talks in Poland failed to respond adequately to the climate crisis, which would have serious consequences, particularly for Africa, according to 350Africa.org. The regional branch of the global climate activist organisation echoed what many NGOs and experts... 

Greenhouse gas emissions cap poses serious threat, warns activist group

Global climate pact seen as weak

By: Reuters     18th December 2018 Nearly 200 countries overcame political divisions late on Saturday to agree on rules for implementing a landmark global climate deal, but critics say it is not ambitious enough to prevent the dangerous effects of global warming. After two weeks of talks in the Polish city of Katowice, nations... 

Global climate pact seen as weak

Ministers work around the clock to strengthen global climate deal

By: Reuters     14th December 2018 Ministers are working around the clock to complete and strengthen the rules for making a landmark agreement to combat climate change operational, with one day of talks remaining. Delegates from nearly 200 nations are on a self-imposed deadline to produce a "rule book" to flesh out details of... 

Self-sustaining clean energy system developed

By: Paige Müller     14th December 2018 Sustainable energy specialist Hyson Sustainable Energy – situated in Krugersdorp – has developed and patented a fully self-sustaining, energy-producing tower, says Hyson Sustainable Energy MD Sally Hall. “The Hyson Sustainable Energy ‘Power Tower’, which was provisionally patented just seven... 

Self-sustaining clean  energy system developed
Photo by Bloomberg
ZERO EMISSIONS The Hyson Sustainable Energy ‘Power Tower’ allows for the recycling of liquefied carbon dioxide and water used in the energy generation process, resulting in zero harmful emissions

Water monitoring platform one-stop shop for S Africa water intelligence

By: Cameron Mackay     14th December 2018 The website application Mzansi Amanzi (isiZulu translation of Water South Africa), has the capabilities to monitor and provide insight on surface-water resources across South Africa on a monthly basis, says Mark Thompson, the director of the earth observation technology company GeoTerraImage. The... 

Water monitoring platform one-stop shop for S Africa water intelligence
THEEWATERSKLOOF DAM WESTERN CAPE Water is going to be the kingpin in just about every decision-making sector

Odourless treatment process produces energy, creates jobs

By: Cameron Mackay     14th December 2018 A new labour-based upgrade for wastewater management plants and acid mine drainage plants below ground – the upflow anaerobic sludge blanket reactor (UASB) process – can be used to produce potable water and energy while reducing costs and creating job opportunities, says engineering and... 

Odourless treatment process produces energy, creates jobs
HYSON CELLS The upflow anaerobic sludge blanket reactor process is below ground, which allows for natural insulation of the cone structures

DEA launches climate change monitoring app at UN climate change conference

By: Marleny Arnoldi     13th December 2018 The Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) on Friday launched the South Africa Biennial Update Report Explorer (BURE) app on the sidelines of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change conference in Katowice, Poland. The BURE app is part of South Africa’s Climate Change... 

2019 Petco Awards open for nominations

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     13th December 2018 The South African polyethylene terephthalate (PET) industry’s biggest celebration of recycling and waste management excellence, the Petco Awards, are now open for nominations. The awards recognise leadership and future-thinking across the PET industry and beyond in addressing a reduction in, as... 

Big coal wants consumers to pay for fixing its pollution problem  

By: Bloomberg     11th December 2018 Some of the world’s biggest fossil-fuel producers are calling on taxpayers to help them kick their pollution habit. The world’s biggest oil, natural gas and mining companies are stepping up their campaign to deploy carbon capture and storage, or CCS, as way to slow global warming. But with a... 

Growthpoint prepares for Cape Town’s planned ban on wet waste at landfills  

By: Marleny Arnoldi     11th December 2018 JSE-listed real estate investment trust (Reit) Growthpoint Properties has partnered with Waste Transformers – an organisation based in Netherlands – to leverage end-of-pipeline food waste from the Reit’s shopping malls and to adopt a decentralised approach to organic waste. This comes ahead of... 

Growthpoint prepares for Cape Town’s planned ban on wet waste at landfills
Waste Transformer's aerobic digester at Growthpoint Properties' N1 City Mall

Asset managers team up to pressure governments on climate change

By: Bloomberg     10th December 2018 Institutional investors increasingly concerned about climate change have teamed up to ask governments to set tougher policies. A group of 415 investors overseeing $32-trillion in assets has signed a letter asking governments to phase out thermal coal, set a price on carbon emissions and end... 

Regius developing coal-to-liquids, fertiliser project in Mozambique

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     7th December 2018 UK-incorporated company Regius Synfuels is, through its Mozambican subsidiary Regius Synfuels Mozambique, developing an integrated 10 000 bbl/d clean diesel and gasoline and a 409 000 t/y fertiliser project, in the Tete province of Mozambique. The project is registered with the Investment... 

Measures in place to boost the Western Cape economy

By: Thabi Madiba     7th December 2018 The Western Cape economy remains relatively stable despite challenges affecting consumer spending, says Western Cape Economic Opportunities Minister Beverley Schäfer. “The province has recorded good gains in employment, and continues to record the lowest expanded unemployment rate in the country.” 

Measures in place to boost the Western Cape economy
Beverley Schäfer Growth in the Western Cape economy slowed down over the past years because of the drought that impacted on some of the province’s key sectors such as agriculture and tourism

Delays in biofuel framework hinder industry

By: Paige Müller     7th December 2018 Despite the local sugar industry championing a bioethanol fuel subsidy as a potential method to relieve the burden on sugar through demand diversification, Ethanol Producers Association of Southern Africa secretary, Alf Stevens, suggests that this may not have the timely impact that the local... 

Delays in biofuel framework hinder industry
Photo by Bloomberg
SLOW PROGRESS Even if the Biofuels Regulatory Framework is attractive, the first ethanol for biofuel would only reach the petrol blenders by the end of 2021 at the earliest

China’s BRI translating its influence into trade, development and cultural engagements with global South

By: Schalk Burger     7th December 2018 The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which is an infrastructure development and integration initiative championed and mainly funded by China, has emerged as a conduit for translating China's growing influence into trade, development and cultural engagements and partnership with the global South.... 

The $3bn map – scientists pool oceans of data to plot Earth's final frontier

By: Reuters     6th December 2018 For experts in the field of ocean mapping it is no small irony that we know more about the surfaces of the Moon and Mars than we do about our planet's sea floor. "Can you imagine operating on the land without a map, or doing anything without a map?" asked Larry Mayer, director of the US-based... 

EVs to become main driver of battery storage deployment over next decade, says Fitch Solutions

By: Simone Liedtke     5th December 2018 The electric vehicle (EV) market is set to become the main driver of surging battery storage deployment over the next decade, following increasing ambitions by developed and emerging markets to decarbonise their transport sectors, and will have a substantial disruptive effect on how energy is... 

DEA to appoint sulphur dioxide emissions expert panel   

By: Marleny Arnoldi     5th December 2018 Environmental Affairs Minister Nomvula Mokonyane will appoint a panel of experts to provide strategic and technical guidance on the effective management of sulphur dioxide from old and existing power generation plants. The decision to appoint a panel comes as a result of the challenges faced by... 

DEA to appoint sulphur dioxide emissions expert panel
Environmental Affairs Minister Nomvula Mokonyane

Mpumalanga remains under strain as water pollution continues

By: Simone Liedtke     4th December 2018 Residents of Mpumalanga remain concerned about sewage spillages and wastewater challenges. The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) has received complaints about alleged sewage spillages and/or the inadequate treatment of wastewater. 

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